Posted by JC on October 4th, 2009
OK, there are interviewers, there are interruptive interviewers and there is Guyon Espiner. This morning on Q+A the wee fox terrier of politics produced the most appalling exhibition of interruptive interviewing in years .
The joy was that his guest, Metiria Turei, had him on toast. She handled the endless, non-stop, verbal diarrhoea of interruptions with humour, grace and steely determination. She waited him out, and she finished what she was going to say. In terms of handling interruptive interviewers, this is a master class!
It is funny you should use the term “fox-terrier”, because when i saw the movie “Up” last week the dogs totally reminded me of the press gallery in their behaviour.
Judy – really !!!.. Master Class – you mean master arse surely.
Nothing is more despicable than a person on the public purse INSISTING that you hear their answer. It reminds me of Marx or one of those well meaning communists who think that – for your own good of course – that you WILL hear what they have to say – and then you WILL DO what they want you to, and so on down the road to authoritarian rule.
Espiner is no great interviewer (but then I recall a certain fellow from ireland who tried similar tricks at times…), but the fact is Turei had her preset answers and she wasnt interested in actually answering the questions – she was only wanting to tell her story.
I think on sunday we saw a small glance at the trouble the greens are in – and its starting to come up on various blogs about the troubles between Bradford and the rest of them. Im no fan of bradford (probably the most divisive woman in NZ politics after Clark), but its staring to look like there are some real problems for them. And Turei is a flat sponge cake compatered to Donald and Fitzsimmonds and Bradford. The next few months will see more of the problems they have. Turei might have legal brains, but she sure aint got any street smarts.
I take it you won’t be voting Green then?
Hi Judy – Actually Ive always voted at each election on three items:
Welfare, Health and Education. The other areas are pretty much the same for all parties(defence, foreign affairs, agriculture, Trade, etc. There will be no major difference between the parties on these other areas – because either the programmes are set internationally or come under trade – and thus despite what they say, things like trade are too important to screw up)
So historically Ive voted for Labour, NZ First and National depending on who I think has the best policies in the three critical areas.
Last election I voted National because :
1. I thought that ‘Working for families’ turned welfare back 30 years. It only catered for those working and it turned middle income people into welfare recipients – wrong. I did hope the National would unbundle it – but so far no.
2. Education is a bit of a mess and theres nothing like a bit of competition to put the fear into the PPTA and the NZEI. Without doubt our youth are less literate and less numerate than theyve been since education became compulsory. Yes- they may know their rights and they may think that they can legally drink from the age of 18 – but many of them couldnt put their thoughts on paper in written form. The teaching profession needs a wake up call. Labour were never going to do that.
3. Health. All previous governments have screwed this up. But if any party was going to try to do something positive about the costs when things got tought then it would most probably be National. We all know that Health and welfare cannot continue in their present form (ie: cost levels) and sooner or later someone has to tackle it. Only when they had sheep in wolves clothing (ie: Douglas) did labour go here – but they still screwed it up.
Oh – and so far the Greens havent had policies in my three areas that have impressed me. And listening to Turei on sunday shes obviously a few sandwiches short of a decent meal in respect to policies.
I by no means an expert in this area, like Judy, but I thought Metiria was pretty appalling. Partly a lack of preparation, but partly that the art of refusing to answer a question is to do it subtly, not blatantly.
The inability to give a Green Party position on CER was striking (and even Phil twyford picked up on it) while on the over-claiming accom expenses, she failed to connect on an emotional level. I thought just repeating a mistake was made which we regret, is what the public hates.
It may be our different politics has use see different things, and again I am no expert. But as a contrast (for example) I thought Goff was in good form at the Labour conference, so don’t have total blinkers.
Appreciate your thoughts, David. Possibly I was too aghast at Guyon Espiner’s refusal to let her complete a sentence to analyse the argument. And that in itself is a mark of bad interviewing. When the audience is too taken up with your technique to listen to the interview, you should review your style.
Don’t agree with you about Metiria. I think she’s pretty cool, actually. Though the way the Greens are polling at the moment, it doesn’t look as though many people share my opinion.
Reposted from Tumeke:
Holmes thought that Turei ‘didn’t answer the questions’ and the Ghoul Williams agreed, how terrible it was for the panel, they clutched their pearls tightly, even had touch of the vapors because free trade may not be well ‘Free’.
Espiner had ADD in the interview, he was after sound bite glib answers (which the Q & A short interview format requires), but the little terrier kept interrupting.
It was painful, and when Espiner gets the sigh from the minister because he won’t let them finish a scentence he throws the ‘with all due respect minister’ line which is code for ‘this is all about me and tonights 6pm news’.
Q & A is turning into a vehicle for Paul ‘sweaty upper lip’ Holmes to run interference for the Nats and Espiner to grill the lefty MP’s and give the NACT team handjobs.
Well i thought the interviewer was terrible and Met did very well
Serial Green hater Farrar didn’t think she did. no surprises there then
But look at the interviews Espiner does with the demi God key and contrast the style
I have seen Espiner being interviewed by Paul Henry recently and he (Espiner) was shown to be the Tory apologist that he is
(His reporting about the new Ets was simply disgusting in terms of being balanced)
I think Guyon needs to understand people dont watch interviews for a one sided argument….i actually want to hear answers to questions…if the interviewer doesnt think the question was answered to his/her satisfaction they followup with another….but to constantly interrupt just gets on my tits!!!! And for the record i dont vote for the greens…but what about a little respect Guyon!!
Has Callingham Edwards provided media training for Turei?
No, John, we haven’t provided training for Metiria Turei. As a matter of fact, I don’t think we’ve ever even met her!
Actually I do regard Turei pretty well generally. Of course my politics are different but I thought she had been a strong performer for the Greens and showed a good grasp of issues. Up until then I thought she had been been very good in interviews, so my response may have been partly because of higher expectations.
I agree the interview was a disgrace. Surely we deserve a much better political/current afairs programe that this awful one sided (RightWing) mindless rubbish. Paul Holmes is past it and with the acception of Therese Arseneau the panel usually consists elderly has-beens.
What we need is a panel of mainly young, up-to-date politicians for a whole hour. Chaired by
an independent strong chairperson. I’m feed up to the teeth with panels that are completely dominated
by mainly old men in suits . By the way, I’m 78-yr-old male so am in a good position to make these statments. For instance the Labour Party has 13 new members like the intelligent, interesting Jacinda Ardern. She is the type we need to listen too . They are the future policy makers